• filter:

Daycare and convience fees in California

  • Text Only
  • Search this Topic »
Voting History
rated:
I currently send my kids to daycare and preschool in the same school and tuition is about $3800 a month and was earning some nice points/ cash back etc.

They just switched to a new company called smart tuition which charges a 2.85% convience fee which to my understanding is illegal in California. They made the switch and gave us 5 days notice to sign up.No retailer in any sales, service, or lease transaction with a consumer may impose a surcharge on a cardholder who elects to use a credit card in lieu of payment by cash, check or similar means. Cal. Civ. Code §1748.1 [2012] . 

Can someone tell me if I am right/wrong that they are able to do that? I have had made large purchases and American Express in the past has confirmed they can give me a cash discount but can not charge me more for using a credit card.

Member Summary
Most Recent Posts
No reason the office staff has to accept that.

cestmoi123 (Jul. 18, 2017 @ 8:10a) |

It's one thing to be a dick to the people who cook your food or work on your car.  I'm not so sure that's such a good id... (more)

dcwilbur (Jul. 18, 2017 @ 8:19a) |

The front desk people don't take care of my kids but also it comes from head office so no reason to be an ass.

Luniz97 (Jul. 18, 2017 @ 8:50a) |

Staff Summary
Thanks for visiting FatWallet.com. Join for free to remove this ad.

rated:
Let's assume you're using a card with 2% cash back. You're upset about a 0.85% net convenience fee. Are you really going to piss off the people who take care of your kids over $32.30/month?

rated:
They could just raise the tuition to $3,908.30 with $0 convenience fees.

rated:
They could just raise the tuition to $3,908.30 with $0 convenience fees.

rated:
There is this wonderful invention called a search engine ...

Learn to use one.

Took five seconds to find this:  http://www.creditcards.com/credit-card-news/surcharge-laws-limbo...

rated:
Luniz97 said:   I currently send my kids to daycare and preschool in the same school and tuition is about $3800 a month and was earning some nice points/ cash back etc.

 

  how many kids? whats the break down?

rated:
rufflesinc said:   
Luniz97 said:   I currently send my kids to daycare and preschool in the same school and tuition is about $3800 a month and was earning some nice points/ cash back etc.

 

  how many kids? whats the break down?

  2 kids. A 3 year old (1600) and 1 year old (2200)

rated:
Crazytree said:   Let's assume you're using a card with 2% cash back. You're upset about a 0.85% net convenience fee. Are you really going to piss off the people who take care of your kids over $32.30/month?
  It's a big place with 10 location, the teachers would never know. So yes plus if I was going to pay an extra $32 a month I might as well pay cash on a basic credit card. I used various cards like Hyatt and Hilton cards to earn diamond status etc which getting lounge access on vacation is huge.

rated:
JavaCoder said:   They could just raise the tuition to $3,908.30 with $0 convenience fees.
  They could but they just did their annual raise of $50 to $75 and are charging that fee.

rated:
MrKlick said:   There is this wonderful invention called a search engine ...

Learn to use one.

Took five seconds to find this:  http://www.creditcards.com/credit-card-news/surcharge-laws-limbo...

  I did and I found the actual law it's referring to and it says it's illegal in 10 states and one of them is California. Reasons gas stations get away with it is because they list both prices and offer a cash discount and not adding a surcharge or convience fee.

rated:
The website also says "However, that law is currently unenforceable". Also another article says "Remember though, that enforcement of the statute has been enjoined, so the statute does not currently apply to anyone. The carrier can charge the surcharge.... If they plan to impose a surcharge, they need to make that disclosure in advance".

Looks like the company is indeed disclosing that a surcharge will be applied.

rated:
Luniz97 said:   
MrKlick said:   There is this wonderful invention called a search engine ...

Learn to use one.

Took five seconds to find this:  http://www.creditcards.com/credit-card-news/surcharge-laws-limbo...

  I did and I found the actual law it's referring to and it says it's illegal in 10 states and one of them is California. Reasons gas stations get away with it is because they list both prices and offer a cash discount and not adding a surcharge or convience fee.

 No, what your daycare did is stop accepting credit cards.  Then referred you to a payment forwarding service that will charge your credit card and forward the cash to the school.

rated:
Luniz97 said:   
Crazytree said:   Let's assume you're using a card with 2% cash back. You're upset about a 0.85% net convenience fee. Are you really going to piss off the people who take care of your kids over $32.30/month?
  It's a big place with 10 location, the teachers would never know. So yes plus if I was going to pay an extra $32 a month I might as well pay cash on a basic credit card. I used various cards like Hyatt and Hilton cards to earn diamond status etc which getting lounge access on vacation is huge.

  Why would you expect the daycare to pay for your vacations?  This goes under the "it was nice while it lasted" category, not something you're entitled to.

rated:
dumroo said:   The website also says "However, that law is currently unenforceable". Also another article says "Remember though, that enforcement of the statute has been enjoined, so the statute does not currently apply to anyone. The carrier can charge the surcharge.... If they plan to impose a surcharge, they need to make that disclosure in advance".

Looks like the company is indeed disclosing that a surcharge will be applied.

  https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/credit-cards/credit-card-charged...

  • Staying on the right side of state laws. As of August 2014, nine states prohibit retailers from passing credit card surcharges onto consumers. They are: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Oklahoma and Texas.

rated:
Glitch99 said:   
Luniz97 said:   
Crazytree said:   Let's assume you're using a card with 2% cash back. You're upset about a 0.85% net convenience fee. Are you really going to piss off the people who take care of your kids over $32.30/month?
  It's a big place with 10 location, the teachers would never know. So yes plus if I was going to pay an extra $32 a month I might as well pay cash on a basic credit card. I used various cards like Hyatt and Hilton cards to earn diamond status etc which getting lounge access on vacation is huge.

  Why would you expect the daycare to pay for your vacations?  This goes under the "it was nice while it lasted" category, not something you're entitled to.

  No I expect the daycare to follow California law not charge me a surcharge when it's banned in California.

rated:
Luniz97 said:   
dumroo said:   The website also says "However, that law is currently unenforceable". Also another article says "Remember though, that enforcement of the statute has been enjoined, so the statute does not currently apply to anyone. The carrier can charge the surcharge.... If they plan to impose a surcharge, they need to make that disclosure in advance".

Looks like the company is indeed disclosing that a surcharge will be applied.

  https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/credit-cards/credit-card-charged-more-gas-station/

  • Staying on the right side of state laws. As of August 2014, nine states prohibit retailers from passing credit card surcharges onto consumers. They are: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Oklahoma and Texas.


The previously linked website says:
Website said: “However, in March 2015, a federal court enjoined the state from enforcing the surcharge statute because the court determined the statute was unconstitutional. As things currently stand, retailers can add a surcharge when a consumer uses a credit card as an alternate form of payment.”
 

Pay attention to the dates!
Disclaimer: I dont know about the authenticity of the two websites. But they are certainly consistent and based on those websites, your daycare provider seems to have disclosed the fees as required.

rated:
OP, I know it's not what you want to hear, but both fwuser and glitch are correct here. Surcharges are "legal" everywhere at the moment. This is an ongoing legal battle. In the long run, FWFers are actually better off with surcharges. The rubes will pay them and we won't and the credit card companies will continue to offer us great % back cards. Yeah, it messes you up now that your daycare provider has wised up, but consider how lucky you were until they figured this out! The reason that Europeans don't have access to the 2%-5% cards we do is because surcharges are illegal and the fees credit card issuers get are smaller by law. If that ever comes here, the points/miles gravy train will end for us too. Feel free to complain to your daycare provider, but if you tell them what they are doing is illegal, they will simply ask Smart Tuition if you're right. Smart Tuition, which obviously needs to keep up on the current legal battle involving these issues, will explain to them why your claim is incorrect and they will continue to use them.

rated:
It's not a surcharge, it's a convenience fee. The school has outsourced credit processing to a third party vendor. It's convenient for you to pay fees with a card, and they are charging you for that convenience. They probably have other options for paying without the convenience fee, such as cash, check, or ach.

Oh, and $3800/mo?!?! Yikes!

rated:
Luniz97 said:   
Glitch99 said:   
Luniz97 said:   
Crazytree said:   Let's assume you're using a card with 2% cash back. You're upset about a 0.85% net convenience fee. Are you really going to piss off the people who take care of your kids over $32.30/month?
  It's a big place with 10 location, the teachers would never know. So yes plus if I was going to pay an extra $32 a month I might as well pay cash on a basic credit card. I used various cards like Hyatt and Hilton cards to earn diamond status etc which getting lounge access on vacation is huge.

  Why would you expect the daycare to pay for your vacations?  This goes under the "it was nice while it lasted" category, not something you're entitled to.

  No I expect the daycare to follow California law not charge me a surcharge when it's banned in California.

  The daycare isnt doing anything except using a third-party tuition management service.  If you truly believe it's illegal, and arent just pissed you've lost your access to easy hotel status bumps, you need to forget your hole-in-the-wall daycare and go after the big companies like payusatax (or any online tax payment processor), Tio, etc that have been doing the exact same thing for years.

rated:
2.85% isn't terrible for the "opportunity" to spend $3800/month. Think about it this way - if you sign up for a new card every month (which averages out to a ~300-400 sign on bonus), you are getting an easy way to meet minimum spending for $100, and easy way to make a $200-300 profit.

rated:
Can you cut them a check instead? Plastiq will only charge 2.5%.

Just to sanity check are you reimbursing the first $5000 in the year pretax out of a DCFSA?

rated:
mherdegg said:   Can you cut them a check instead? Plastiq will only charge 2.5%.

Just to sanity check are you reimbursing the first $5000 in the year pretax out of a DCFSA?

  Yes still do the $5k a year but this year do not qualify for full 5k due to some income rule limits.

rated:
meade18 said:   OP, I know it's not what you want to hear, but both fwuser and glitch are correct here. Surcharges are "legal" everywhere at the moment. This is an ongoing legal battle. In the long run, FWFers are actually better off with surcharges. The rubes will pay them and we won't and the credit card companies will continue to offer us great % back cards. Yeah, it messes you up now that your daycare provider has wised up, but consider how lucky you were until they figured this out! The reason that Europeans don't have access to the 2%-5% cards we do is because surcharges are illegal and the fees credit card issuers get are smaller by law. If that ever comes here, the points/miles gravy train will end for us too. Feel free to complain to your daycare provider, but if you tell them what they are doing is illegal, they will simply ask Smart Tuition if you're right. Smart Tuition, which obviously needs to keep up on the current legal battle involving these issues, will explain to them why your claim is incorrect and they will continue to use them.
  
I know what I wanted to hear but I guess the good times are over...will just have to sign them up for ACH.  I'm not churning cards etc, I just would either use a hotel card until I reached the min spend for status and then switch to citi double cash back but I guess no more suites and free nights. 2.85% would be $1300 dollars a year which isn't worth 2 free nights at any hilton and diamond status to me.  Might as well just pay the extra 200 a night for the upgrade when you get there.

Over the last year at my company, we use corporate amex and everytime a company charges us to use a CC, amex doesn't allow it in california and immediately returns our money and takes it up with the vendor.

rated:
Lot of companies are doing this in CA ... if it was illegal ... there would have been lawsuit already. Company has worded it properly as "convenience fee"
Some company word it like original price = $X and cash/debit discount as $2.85%, in this case customer think price is too much (that is they don't make $3908 and not make you pay convenience fee)

You also have option to pay by other means (check/debit) to avoid this 2.85% fee ... only thing is you will miss the reward/points which is your concern ... correct?

Are you ready to fight with school? what are consequences of it? Are other parents with you? I guess everyone will cry about it for few days and move on.

rated:
Luniz97 said:   
meade18 said:   OP, I know it's not what you want to hear, but both fwuser and glitch are correct here. Surcharges are "legal" everywhere at the moment. This is an ongoing legal battle. In the long run, FWFers are actually better off with surcharges. The rubes will pay them and we won't and the credit card companies will continue to offer us great % back cards. Yeah, it messes you up now that your daycare provider has wised up, but consider how lucky you were until they figured this out! The reason that Europeans don't have access to the 2%-5% cards we do is because surcharges are illegal and the fees credit card issuers get are smaller by law. If that ever comes here, the points/miles gravy train will end for us too. Feel free to complain to your daycare provider, but if you tell them what they are doing is illegal, they will simply ask Smart Tuition if you're right. Smart Tuition, which obviously needs to keep up on the current legal battle involving these issues, will explain to them why your claim is incorrect and they will continue to use them.
  
I know what I wanted to hear but I guess the good times are over...will just have to sign them up for ACH.  I'm not churning cards etc, I just would either use a hotel card until I reached the min spend for status and then switch to citi double cash back but I guess no more suites and free nights. 2.85% would be $1300 dollars a year which isn't worth 2 free nights at any hilton and diamond status to me.  Might as well just pay the extra 200 a night for the upgrade when you get there.

Over the last year at my company, we use corporate amex and everytime a company charges us to use a CC, amex doesn't allow it in california and immediately returns our money and takes it up with the vendor.

  Well, why not? You're clearly familiar with the benefits of rewards credit cards. You can meet just about any minimum spend requirement in 1 or 2 months - why not use the benefit to max it out? Granted it's a bit higher out of pocket cost for you ($108.month), but the benefits of it are easily worth more than $100/month if you like to travel. 

rated:
DoonGuy said:   Lot of companies are doing this in CA ... if it was illegal ... there would have been lawsuit already. Company has worded it properly as "convenience fee"
Some company word it like original price = $X and cash/debit discount as $2.85%, in this case customer think price is too much (that is they don't make $3908 and not make you pay convenience fee)

You also have option to pay by other means (check/debit) to avoid this 2.85% fee ... only thing is you will miss the reward/points which is your concern ... correct?

Are you ready to fight with school? what are consequences of it? Are other parents with you? I guess everyone will cry about it for few days and move on.

  
I can avoid the fee by just paying check or ACH withdraw.  It is a nice bonus to have rewards/cash back.

Well they literally gave everyone 5 days to switch to the new carrier.

rated:
mherdegg said:   Can you cut them a check instead? Plastiq will only charge 2.5%.

Just to sanity check are you reimbursing the first $5000 in the year pretax out of a DCFSA?

  
Is Preschool eligible under the DCFSA?  We have our 3YO in an Parent Participation PreSchool and it would be nice to get that bump.  He'll be going 3 days a week this year.

rated:
lotusgardener said:   
mherdegg said:   Can you cut them a check instead? Plastiq will only charge 2.5%.

Just to sanity check are you reimbursing the first $5000 in the year pretax out of a DCFSA?

  
Is Preschool eligible under the DCFSA?  We have our 3YO in an Parent Participation PreSchool and it would be nice to get that bump.  He'll be going 3 days a week this year.

  Not sure, they both go to the same school and they go from 6 months of age to 5 years old.

rated:
Luniz97 said:   
Over the last year at my company, we use corporate amex and everytime a company charges us to use a CC, amex doesn't allow it in california and immediately returns our money and takes it up with the vendor.

  
That's interesting. How does that work exactly? If you tried to pay Smart Tuition with an Amex, would Amex go after them for the fee? If so, that's obviously the solution here - pay with Amex. If not, there must be some difference between what your preschool/Smart Tuition is doing and what the other vendors are doing.

rated:
OP, well you will win this battle as I live in CA as well...however get ready to get kicked out of that school afterwards.
And all of your child's 'playmates' families to ostracize you when their costs go up.

rated:
Luniz97 said:   
 
Over the last year at my company, we use corporate amex and everytime a company charges us to use a CC, amex doesn't allow it in california and immediately returns our money and takes it up with the vendor.

A common vendor around here that charges to use a CC are the municipalities. Not sure anyone would want to play that kind of game with them

rated:
lotusgardener said:   mherdegg said:   Can you cut them a check instead? Plastiq will only charge 2.5%.

Just to sanity check are you reimbursing the first $5000 in the year pretax out of a DCFSA?

  
Is Preschool eligible under the DCFSA?  We have our 3YO in an Parent Participation PreSchool and it would be nice to get that bump.  He'll be going 3 days a week this year.

Check with your provider before trusting an internet stranger, but most dependent care FSA accept charges made up to pre-k. After that, then the summer camps, after care and such until age 13.

rated:
cherry3m said:   It's not a surcharge, it's a convenience fee. The school has outsourced credit processing to a third party vendor. It's convenient for you to pay fees with a card, and they are charging you for that convenience. They probably have other options for paying without the convenience fee, such as cash, check, or ach.

Oh, and $3800/mo?!?! Yikes!


Most fwfers are middle americans and cannot fathom what it is like to be able to live here.

rated:
middable said:   
cherry3m said:   It's not a surcharge, it's a convenience fee. The school has outsourced credit processing to a third party vendor. It's convenient for you to pay fees with a card, and they are charging you for that convenience. They probably have other options for paying without the convenience fee, such as cash, check, or ach.

Oh, and $3800/mo?!?! Yikes!


Most fwfers are middle americans and cannot fathom what it is like to be able to live here.

And posts like this are exactly why I wouldn't want to.  

rated:
dcwilbur said:   
middable said:   
cherry3m said:   It's not a surcharge, it's a convenience fee. The school has outsourced credit processing to a third party vendor. It's convenient for you to pay fees with a card, and they are charging you for that convenience. They probably have other options for paying without the convenience fee, such as cash, check, or ach.

Oh, and $3800/mo?!?! Yikes!


Most fwfers are middle americans and cannot fathom what it is like to be able to live here.

And posts like this are exactly why I wouldn't want to.  

  good daycare costs an arm and a leg everywhere

rated:
rufflesinc said:   
dcwilbur said:   
middable said:   
cherry3m said:   It's not a surcharge, it's a convenience fee. The school has outsourced credit processing to a third party vendor. It's convenient for you to pay fees with a card, and they are charging you for that convenience. They probably have other options for paying without the convenience fee, such as cash, check, or ach.

Oh, and $3800/mo?!?! Yikes!


Most fwfers are middle americans and cannot fathom what it is like to be able to live here.

And posts like this are exactly why I wouldn't want to.  

  good daycare costs an arm and a leg everywhere

  No, I meant the veiled insult at those who don't live in California being too dense to know what they're missing.

rated:
rufflesinc said:   
dcwilbur said:   
middable said:   
cherry3m said:   It's not a surcharge, it's a convenience fee. The school has outsourced credit processing to a third party vendor. It's convenient for you to pay fees with a card, and they are charging you for that convenience. They probably have other options for paying without the convenience fee, such as cash, check, or ach.

Oh, and $3800/mo?!?! Yikes!


Most fwfers are middle americans and cannot fathom what it is like to be able to live here.

And posts like this are exactly why I wouldn't want to.  

  good daycare costs an arm and a leg everywhere

  ya costs are all just relative to where you live

rated:
Luniz97 said:   
rufflesinc said:   
Luniz97 said:   I currently send my kids to daycare and preschool in the same school and tuition is about $3800 a month and was earning some nice points/ cash back etc.

 

  how many kids? whats the break down?

  2 kids. A 3 year old (1600) and 1 year old (2200)

  don't stand for this 2.85% nonsense.  tell all the other parents to bring their kids to my school.  I'll keep rates the same.  all major CC's accepted, surcharge-free.

rated:
fufihope said:   
Luniz97 said:   
rufflesinc said:   
Luniz97 said:   I currently send my kids to daycare and preschool in the same school and tuition is about $3800 a month and was earning some nice points/ cash back etc.

 

  how many kids? whats the break down?

  2 kids. A 3 year old (1600) and 1 year old (2200)

  don't stand for this 2.85% nonsense.  tell all the other parents to bring their kids to my school.  I'll keep rates the same.  all major CC's accepted, surcharge-free.

  Do you give out free candy?

Skipping 47 Messages...
rated:
dcwilbur said:   
scrouds said:   Pay cash.

Like crisp $100 bills.

Remind the office staff every time that you wish there wasn't any fees for credit cards.

Just watch them, they're not used to counting up to 38

It's one thing to be a dick to the people who cook your food or work on your car.  I'm not so sure that's such a good idea with the people who take care of your children.  

The front desk people don't take care of my kids but also it comes from head office so no reason to be an ass.  

  • Quick Reply:  Have something quick to contribute? Just reply below and you're done! hide Quick Reply
     
    Click here for full-featured reply.


Disclaimer: By providing links to other sites, FatWallet.com does not guarantee, approve or endorse the information or products available at these sites, nor does a link indicate any association with or endorsement by the linked site to FatWallet.com.

Thanks for visiting FatWallet.com. Join for free to remove this ad.

While FatWallet makes every effort to post correct information, offers are subject to change without notice.
Some exclusions may apply based upon merchant policies.
© 1999-2017